Pruaitch drops challenge

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THE trial of a court reference by former Opposition leader Patrick Pruaitch, pictured, questioning the legality of Prime Minister James Marape’s election has been vacated by the Supreme Court.
Justice Derek Hartshorn ordered the trial date, which was set for today, be vacated after Pruiatch’s lawyer Loani Henao, from Henao Lawyers, informed court that he would file an application to discontinue the matter since Pruaitch had moved to the Government and no longer had an interest to continue with the proceedings. Hartshorn adjourned the matter to the court registry and told parties to talk between themselves on which step to take and have the case listed again for formalities.
The parties are:

  • Referrer – Opposition leader (then) Patrick Pruaitch;
  • First intervener – Minister for Justice and Attorney-General Davis Steven; and,
  • Second intervener – Speaker of Parliament Job Pomat.

The attorney-general’s lawyer Nemo Yalo told media outside the court that either Henao or he (Yalo) would write to all the parties to have the matter listed again so that they would go before the court to formally apply to discontinue the proceedings.
“The applicant who initiated the proceedings has withdrawn the proceedings because he no longer has interest and that means the case will not continue and the other parties cannot continue pursuing it,” Yalo said.
“Pruiatch has been trying to nullify the election of Marape as PM, but has now moved to the Government and he cannot be in the government supporting the PM and pursuing this matter at the same time.”
Pruaitch was formerly represented by Greg Sheppard, from Young and Williams Lawyers.
Pruaitch instructed Sheppard to stop representing him and took in Henao to act for him in discontinuing the case.
Meanwhile, the lawyer representing Marape, McRonald Nale, from Jema Lawyers, told the court that he had an application for the PM to intervene in the proceedings.
However, he told media later that he might withdraw the application due to the changes taking place.

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